The countdown has officially begun. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011 Issue hits newstands this Tuesday (Feb 15th), and we can’t wait! We happen to know that four of our designer swimwear brands are already confirmed to appear, so look out for our site in the “Where to Buy” section.

Update: We called it! Check out the sexy picks fresh off the shoot in our As Seen in section!

The big cover reveal will be announced on the David Letterman show this Monday Feb 14th (Valentine’s Day), followed by newstands sales the following day. We can’t wait to see WHO made the cover with so many sizzling models in the run. Who will be the lucky lady this year? Here are some of our favorite contenders:

Bar Refaeli

She not only graced the cover last year, she’s one of our favorite girls. Apart from being Leo Di Caprio’s girlfriend, the girl’s got herself a pretty nice behind. She’s posed in SI before for brands such as OndadeMar Swimwear, and this year she was featured in some sizzling luxury swimsuit pics from Agua Bendita Swimwear. If you’re wondering what her bum looks like in a brazilian cut bikini, it’s your lucky day.

Left: Bar Refaeli in SI 2010: Right: In Agua Bendita Swimwear 2011

Cintia Dicker

This red-headed kitten is one of the top contenders. With her freckled face, pale skin, and auburn hair, she’s a cute and sexy package. Would you have guessed she’s from Campo Bom, Brazil? Not exactly! A Brazilian red-head with some girl-next-door features. The land of the beautiful sure knows how to make ’em. She was shot frolicking in the sand in Maaji Swimwear for the 2010 shoot.

Cintia Dicker in Maaji Swimwear for SI 2010

Hilary Rhoda

This Maryland native is a sporty yet sexy option that would parallel SI’s previous choices. With her brunette hair and deep blue eyes, she’s sure to be a hit covergirl. Oh, and that smile wouldn’t hurt her chances either. She’s been featured in the past in Agua Bendita and Vix Swimwear. She is also dating Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez which will add star power to this year’s issue.

Hilary Rhoda in Vix Swimwear for SI 2010

Daniella Sarahyba

Is it us, or does she have an air of Keri Russell in her? This is another brazilian hottie who broke out in the Sports lllustrated seen back in 2005. Her sweet come hither look and upbeat poses really want to make you like her and lust over her. And whatever else comes to your mind. We pulled out a 2008 vintage SI pic of her in Maaji Swimsuit in Italy. Want a ride in a Vespa, anyone?

Daniella Sarahyba in Maaji Swimwear for SI 2009

Irina Shayk

Secretly, we think Irina will take the crown this year. This Russian ‘Adriana Lima’ look-alike has gotten widespread recognition since she was shot in Sports Illustrated back in 2007. She’s been featured in the swimsuit issue ever since, and boasts a wrap sheet of A-list gigs such as starring in Kanye West’s 2010 Power video, among others. She’s been on the cover of other magazines like Maxim and Elle, and we think this year will be her year. She’s posed for one of our sexy OndadeMar Swimwear styles and has been a hit among industry insiders worldwide. If she makes it, we called it.

Irina Shayk in OndadeMar Swimwear

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